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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Higher Again
by Tom Moeller March 7, 2006

Chain store sales added 0.2% during the opening week of March to the 1.5% surge during the prior period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS survey.

The gain lifted the level of sales in early March 1.4% above the February average which rose 1.1% from January.

During the last ten years there has been a 47% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in nonauto retail sales less gasoline.

The leading indicator of chain store sales rose 0.3% late in February and the average level of the leading indicator fell 1.6% during the month.

The ICSC-UBS retail chain-store sales index is constructed using the same-store sales (stores open for one year) reported by 78 stores of seven retailers: Dayton Hudson, Federated, Kmart, May, J.C. Penney, Sears and Wal-Mart.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 03/04/06 02/25/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 470.1 469.0 4.3% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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